Looking back at the past 18 months it’s clear that my life has changed completely due to my deteriorating health. Several milestones are seared into my memory, detailing the rapid decline. Through it all I’ve lived through this period with the philosophy I’ve followed my whole life to make my departed Mother proud.
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Mom told me frequently to strive to make sure that everyplace I went was better for my having been there. I believe I’ve done that and Mom would be proud of me.
The first milestone on this recent journey I’ll never forget. That’s the day that I found I could no longer rely on my body. I was walking in my Houston apartment one second and flat on my back the next. My legs had given out and I dropped like a sack of potatoes to the hard floor.
I wasn’t hurt, but losing my faith in my own body was hard. This fall resulted in the first of several trips to the emergency room where the diagnosis of my serious heart condition was made.
This explained why I was getting tired so frequently, and started me down the path of relying on others to help me both physically and financially. The inability to work was hard to come to grips with and I needed help.
The next milestone was the second fall caused by my weakening legs. What should have been just a bruise on my ego resulted in the humerus, the upper arm, being snapped in two. This was exacerbated by the doctors’ decision that I likely wouldn’t survive the surgery needed to set the arm for proper healing.
The next 3 weeks with a broken arm were extremely unpleasant waiting for the doctors to improve my condition enough to survive the surgery to set the arm. I still have the metal in my arm used to set it.
Things deteriorated rapidly from that point, with me going from a cane, to a walker, and finally to a wheelchair due to the mistrust I had gotten that my legs would always support me as in the past.
The next day stamped in my memory was the day I boarded a bus to move to the north central US to be near my kids. The argument was that the increasing reliance I was having on others would be facilitated in the vast rural setting. This has been the finding in my new home, but I greatly miss living in the home of my birth.
The 40 mile trip in an ambulance is the next milestone I endured. The month-long hospitalization that this resulted in was hard, but with lots of people working with me to get better.
This ordeal resulted in my admittance to a nursing home. I always thought they were for those of advanced age and not people as young as I.
The day I experienced soon after this is still surreal, and not one I’ll ever forget. That’s the day I moved out of the home and into an apartment. In typical fashion for our government, I had to live on my own for the Feds to consider giving me the help I needed. Of course that requires me to pay rent and more importantly my healthcare expenses.
I’ll never forget the day shortly after when I woke up with 10 toes on my right foot and went to bed later with only 9. The serious staph infection had entered the toe and the only option was to remove it. This has resulted in my constantly watching for signs that it’s still there which will result in further amputation, a real possibility.
This is continuing today, a constant struggle requiring help. You can do that by contributing to my GoFundMe campaign. It might take a community to raise a child but it certainly does to care for those of us who can’t do it on our own.
Through it all I’m still making sure to leave every place I leave better for my having been there. I’m certain Mom would be pleased.